Fandom– Recognize

credit to -

credit to –

San Diego Comic Con 2014 is in full swing, and the Internet is a buzz with all things Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel, Hobbit-y, Game of Thrones-y and oh yeah– Lionsgate-y. I’m one of the sad few who is not attending the convention, and frankly will probably never attend, because crowds of that magnitude give me the heebie-jeebies, and trust me when I say this– you don’t want to be around me when I have the heebie-jeebies. Anywho, Comic-Con is a place of fandom-wide fun and excitement, and just all out nerd-gasmic heaven.

Y’all like cupcakes, right? I betcha do! Why not, they’re delicious, and fluffy, and if they’re made right they are moist (not in the naughty way), and light, and put a smile on your face with their fondant, and they’re butter cream goodness. Lionsgate apparently likes cupcakes too, or baked goods if we’re speaking in broad terms. I know this because this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, part of the fun and festivities are baked goods, including cupcakes. That’s right folks, they have a sleek-looking, Capitol-esque bakery set up on display for the burgeoning public to ooh and ah over. This is awesome for all intents and purposes, ’cause everyone and their glutton tolerant aunt likes some free baked goods every now and again. The only fly in the ointment of this sweet, little gesture is the slightly glaring fact that who ever, or whatever marketing firm chose the designs for some of these goods, well– stole them.

That’s right folks, I just used the S word, and it’s not the shit kind. Nope, I call foul on who ever, or whatever person, or group of people who decided stealing other people’s ideas is an acceptable business practice!

Crystal Watanabe has been a staple in this fandom for years, she’s involved more than a random fan as well– and on top of that she’s got more than a life outside of her endeavors involving The Hunger Games. Crystal used to pretty much run, now she’s the founder, and head at Crystal is a master at bento, as well as artisan baking. Which brings me to the previously used S word. Crystal’s designs for two Effie Trinket themed cupcakes are being used without her permission right now at one of the biggest entertainment themed conventions in the world, and all of this is going down without what’s probably most important— credit where credit is due.

I’m just going to say it, but this is not cool! I know that the big guys on top of the money-making machines that supposedly dictate our lives, wholly believe that taking a “little persons” ideas and shilling them as their own, is acceptable. But damn it all to hell– it’s not! I know they’re just cupcakes, but even cupcake designs are things that deserve to be credited to the originator, the designer– who in this case is Crystal Watanabe.

So Hunger Games fandom, if you think it’s cool to steal other people’s ideas– by all means eat up. But if you don’t– say something, that’s what the Internet is for– other than porn of course. This credit issue could be easily remedied with a simple piece of card stock going up on display in that bakery set up. Simple, concise and easy, because this is potential revenue lost to an artist.

Effie Trinket cupcakes designed by Crystal Watanabe of

Them There Eyes



  1. While I appreciate so much how supportive friends like you have been, Rebekah, I’d have been happy with just a heads up email. People email me all the time to ask permission to use my bento images on websites, in magazines, etc and so just a little “hey we love these and want to do them, is that cool?” would have been enough recognition for me. Then at least I could have looked out for it and told people and been all excited, etc.

    Getting surprised is never fun. I was once shopping at an Asian market, browsing the bento section when I came across a display of bento images, all of them mine, being used to sell bento gear. I ended up contacting a manager and worked something out with the store’s owners, but standing in the store staring at those images being used to sell something just left me feeling shocked, upset, and a little bit sad.

    1. I hope you and that manager worked out a way for you to get paid… all’s I’m saying. I think as a visual artists myself I’d be floored, and livid if I saw my photographs being used to advertize, or promote something that I did not sign off on. This is why my work is copyrighted.

      Sure, a heads up would have been nice for you– but you deserve better in my opinion. I think we all do.

  2. Thanks TTE for pointing this out and giving Crystal her due. I think it should be also pointed out, though, that it’s not just “the big guys on top” who think stealing ideas from “little people” is acceptable. It’s the “little people” themselves who do, too. Many netizens find the whole idea of “intellectual property” is just a BS concept big media conglomerates use to justify hunting people down for ripping MP3s, or recording a movie or TV show on a cell phone camera and posting it on YouTube.

    And unfortunately, many people think ripping off ANYONE, not just big media firms, is okay. Many fanfic “writers” steal other people’s plots, characters, or even cut and paste whole stories wholesale and pass them off as their own. Same with fanart.

    Now of course, the usual refrain when people are confronted for doing this is “I’m not making any money off this so it’s no big deal”. And here, likely whoever made these cupcakes received some kind of payment. But ITA that people SHOULD get kudos for their creative efforts, whether the person stealing them actually profits monetarily or not.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. Intention and profits doesn’t matter. If you steal, you steal, case closed.

      A prime example came to mind when reading your response. I am a massive fan of the band Paramore and back in May, a certain superstar named Justin Bieber ripped off a piece of work associated with them for his cover art. His song, titled “We Were Born For This” (Paramore has a song called “Born For This” with that exact line) used the exact principle font Paramore used for their album, with the exact colors and style (the lyrics only drove the point home further). His fans, known for their obsessive allegiance, defended him like there was no tomorrow, despite the obviousness of the case. However, the situation worsened when someone found out that the artwork he stole wasn’t just a copy of elements Paramore had used in the past– it was actually a Paramore fan’s own fanart for the band. He stole a FAN’S ARTWORK, which made it a billion times worse. He might’ve done without meaning to steal, but it’s only common sense. Especially if you are a pop star with MILLIONS OF FOLLOWERS. His single was only an online thing for his fans, so they tried to say that, “Oh, everyone should stop getting so angry over this. It’s not like he’s making money or anything.” That is beside the point. I’d be willing to bet that if you ask anyone who has had their work stolen before, money would not be the most major issue. It’s the fact that someone else is getting credit for your work, something you worked hard on, and that should never be allowed. Ever.

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